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Aaron Rodgers: Pressure is on the Cardinals, not Packers

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Aaron Rodgers believes that it’s the Arizona Cardinals, not his Green Bay Packers, that will have all the pressure on them in the teams’ divisional round showdown at University of Phoenix Stadium on Saturday night.

Rodgers pointed out that several things will be weighing upon the Cardinals above and beyond an already intense playoff game.

“Well, the pressure’s all going to be on them,” he told reporters Wednesday, via ESPN. “They’re coming off a tough loss at home against Seattle. Before that they blew us out. They’re the Super Bowl favorites, and obviously the favorite team on Saturday night, so we’ve just got to go out, be loose, let it all hang out, because the pressure’s all on that side.”

The Packers of course were blown out 38-8 on the Cardinals’ home turf just a few weeks ago in a game Rodgers was under constant duress and every facet of Green Bay’s team looked to be in utter disarray. Rodgers in particular looked frazzled and ineffective, getting sacked eight times while throwing for only 151 yards before getting sat during the fourth quarter.

A completely over-matched offensive line in particular proved to be the catalyst to the blowout loss. With left tackle David Bakhtiari already out, the Packers then lost right tackle Bryan Bulaga and were forced to piece together a makeshift offensive line out of backups and third-stringers.

But the Packers are hopeful Bakhtiari will be back to protect Rodgers’ blind side on Saturday, and the offense seemed to work out of its collective funk with a comeback 35-18 victory over the Washington Redskins in last weekend’s Wild Card round.

Packers head coach Mike McCarthy said earlier this week that he refuses to view his team as underdogs heading into the game, despite the Cardinals being favored by seven points. Rodgers, while taking a different approach than his head coach, nevertheless suggests that all the pressure rests squarely on an opponent who would view a loss this weekend as a complete failure and utter disappointment.